A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Outer space is a terrifying concept. The lifelessness, the airlessness, it is not a place to be occupied by human life.
Mankind is naturally curious, and it is a triumphant achievement that our technological advancements have allowed us to enter and explore the vastness and endlessness of space, researching, discovering and deciphering the unknown, bit by bit.
The dangers of space travel are numerous in amount; they’ve been exhibited through cinema for over 50 years.
Factual or fictional, space travel has been depicted as an undesirable activity for the most part, and in 2013, Alfonso Cuarón brought us a cinematic experience like no other with “Gravity”.
During a mission into space, 3 U.S astronauts are informed of an incident involving a Russian space station that has resulted in debris orbiting the earth at a rate faster than a speeding bullet.
Out in the elements working on repairs their spacecraft, Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), Matt Kowalski (George Clooney) and Shariff (Phaldut Sharma) are forced to frantically retreat and get themselves to safety before the onslaught of fatal debris collides with them. The astronauts form here on in work together in order to survive whilst dealing with panic, ominous threats, loss of oxygen and shock en route.
The cast is small, consisting of Clooney and Bullock for almost the entirety of the film. This makes for an excellent connection with the characters and the journey they embark on to survive.
The brutality, the horror and the devastatingly shocking situations they find themselves in along the way are affecting to an audience like nothing else.
For example, when losing oxygen rapidly due to panic, Ryan Stone’s frightened state generates a subconscious trigger within an audience to start breathing heavily, conserving oxygen just like she does.
It is a true compliment to a film when it can create such an atmosphere with an audience. “Gravity” certainly takes it’s audience on a ride like no other.
Utilising some the most outstandingly mesmerising green screen visual effects, “Gravity” is almost entirely artificial, although, we wouldn’t know that. The realism of the cinematography mixed with exceptional sound and camerawork is stunning.
We get to witness Cuarón’s signature tracking shot method in all it’s glory, especially in the film’s opening, which lasts for about 20 minutes.
The visual experience of the film, especially on a big screen is the only way that these landmark achievements in effects can be justified.
There are minuscule details that do not go unnoticed throughout the journey of terror, bravery, disaster and survival and it’s the thoroughness of every nuance that makes “Gravity” such a spectacle.
Having seen “Gravity” for the 4th time recently, there are a few elements which still don’t sit quite right, but then again, it’s merely nitpicking.
At points, the story tends to proceed off on a strange route that doesn’t seem right but thankfully, it ultimately returns to it’s most glorious form.
In addition, George Clooney’s Kowalski is too much like real life Clooney, that it detracts from his character quite a bit.
Apart from a few miniature qualms regarding the film, “Gravity” is a near-perfect film; it definitely had the potential to be.
Harrowing, enchanting, beautiful and striking, “Gravity” explores an enormous spectrum of emotions and as a result, feels like a 3-hour odyssey, yet it only runs for 91 minutes. Usually with a film set in space, there is a science-fiction element involved, but “Gravity” has such a realistically thrilling sense to it, even if the scenarios are unbelievably extravagant.
The awards say it all, “Gravity” is a cinematic masterpiece. Winning almost every award last year at the OSCARS apart from “best picture”, “Gravity” impressed audiences the world over and took them to places they had never been before. From the use (or deliberate misuse) of sound to encapsulate the lifeless world of space to the jaw-dropingly marvellous effects, “Gravity” is an extraordinary piece of cinema.
For those who haven’t seen it, find yourself the biggest possible screen with the biggest sound system you can. Hit the lights, turn the volume to full and experience this triumph as it should be experienced, you won’t regret it!